Shark Bay is one of Western Australia’s most popular recreational fishing destinations for small boat and shore-based anglers.
The Department of Fisheries and the Parks and Wildlife Service have regulations and marine zones in place that you must be aware of when boating and fishing.
Shark Bay Marine Park encompasses most of Shark Bay but there are only a few areas where line fishing is prohibited. These are Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve and the sanctuary zones – 18 Mile Beach, Mary Anne Island, Gudrun Wreck, Surf Point, Sandy Point, Big Lagoon, Disappointment Reach and L’haridon Bight.
See the download the Shark Bay marine reserves brochure to find out what activities are allowed in the different marine park zones.
A fishing licence is required when fishing from a boat.
Steep Point & False Entrance
Opportunities to fish from cliffs for mackerel and other pelagic species attract hard core anglers with special equipment to Steep Point. Helium balloons are used to float bait offshore and special gaffs are required to haul fish up the cliff face. Late summer is the best time for catching pelagic species from the cliffs. Campsites are in high demand during this time so book ahead.
Further south is False Entrance where anglers also fish from cliffs for mackerel and other pelagic species. The jagged limestone rock in this area is hard on footwear and bare foot fishing is not recommended. There are informal campsites near the beach.
As with the sites around Steep Point, high clearance 4WD is essential to access this area and camping permits must be obtained in advance.
Dirk Hartog Island
The western side of Dirk Hartog Island is similar to Steep Point with anglers risking cliff fishing for pelagic species like tuna, mackerel and kingfish. The warm Leeuwin current from the north can also bring gamefish like marlin and sailfish close to shore.
The eastern side is great for land based fishing catches including tailor, flathead and giant trevally.
Francois Peron National Park
This popular destination has easy access to a number of quiet coastal campsites and less demanding shore-based fishing. With relatively little effort you can catch a feed of whiting, flathead or tailor from the beaches. Access these sites is by high clearance 4WD only and you will need a high clearance trailer if taking a small dinghy.
Fishing is possible in the waters off Monkey Mia and from the beach areas adjacent to the resort. Although the water is generally shallow it is possible to catch some of the inshore species like whiting and flathead. Fishing is not permitted within the dolphin experience area.